What Shoes to Wear While Snowshoeing
By Chris Gorski
Choosing the proper shoes means the difference between warm, dry, comfy feet and cold, wet achy feet while out on the trail. We are yet to meet anyone who experienced the later who also claimed to have a good time while out on the trail. Therefore, we are going to explore what types of shoes are the best for snowshoeing.
To begin, it is important to understand that snowshoe bindings will accept a variety of footwear. So don’t worry about whether or not you shoes will work with your snowshoes, we can almost guarantee that they will. Now you need to decide what type of conditions or outing you will be snowshoeing in. By this we mean deep powder, packed trails, or a running/training. The best footwear depends on what you will be doing.
If you plan on going on packed trails for a running or training outing, then you want to pick an athletic shoe that offers good support and flexes well. Comfort is the biggest priority, as you will be using them in a similar manner as if you were going for a jog. If you plan on using these types of shoes, you may want to pick up a pair of neoprene booties which will go over your shoes and help to keep the snow out while you moving.
If you plan on doing just basic hiking on packed trails or light snow, you will want to consider a lightweight but waterproof hiking shoe. Many companies have begun to make what they call “snow-sport” boots. Although these types of boots do not offer a lot of support or advantages on steep or varying terrain, they are waterproof, light, and for the most part, comfortable. It is also a good idea to break your boots in before going on any long snowshoe outings. This will ensure they are comfortable and that you won’t get blisters.
Finally, if you plan on really hitting the backcountry in the deep snow, you will want to get a pair of mountaineering boots. These boots are much more heavy duty and provide excellent support when navigating steep or difficult terrain. Furthermore, they are more durable, warm, and waterproof. However, they do weight more and can be on the pricier side. However, if you really plan on hitting the backcountry, there really is no other option. You may also want to invest in a pair of gators. These go over your boots and up to your knees to keep snow and water out!
By picking the proper footwear, you can be sure your feet will be happy. And happy feet equals a happy day on the trails.